Inviting friends and family to the UK

Find out how to invite family members or friends to visit you in the UK.

If you'd like to invite family members or friends to visit you in the UK, and they are visa nationals, they will need to apply for a visitor visa before travelling to the UK.

You can find out if you need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK on the UK Gov website.

Applying for Entry Clearance (visa nationals)

Your visitor can find out information about the visa application process here.

The information below gives an outline of the documents that your visitors are required to provide in support of their application. A full and comprehensive list of supporting documents can be found here

Documents your guests will need to provide

  • Complete the online application form for Standard Visitors
  • Passport
  • Correct fee (£95 in local currency)
  • Bank statements or payslips to show that your visitor can pay for the trip and has enough money to support themselves without working or getting any help from public funds
  • If they are studying or working, evidence of their current employment or studies
  • Evidence that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit (for example, a letter from their employer confirming they have a job to return to)

Documents you need to provide

  • Original confirmation of enrolment letter, from your School Administrative Office, which confirms the dates of your course and expected date of graduation ceremony
  • A letter from you addressed to the embassy in question, which formally invites your friend or relative to stay.  The letter should include:
    • Confirmation that you would like your friend / relative to visit you in Nottingham
    • The date you would like them to arrive and leave
    • If they will stay in your accommodation you should mention this
    • If you will provide for them financially you should mention this
  • Three months UK bank statements (if you intend to support your visitor financially during their stay).
  • A photocopy of your passport (showing your personal details) and your current UK visa (your Biometric Residence Permit)

Additional documents for guests attending your graduation ceremony

If your relatives / friends are coming to the UK in order to attend your graduation ceremony and you have bought tickets for them, you can request a letter from the Academic Registry via email.

Applying at the port of entry (non-visa nationals only)

Most non-visa nationals can request entry as visitors at immigration control when they arrive in the UK.

They will need to submit the above documentation (except the application form and visa fee) to the Immigration Officer at their port of entry (airport, ferry port etc) and be prepared to answer any questions about their visit.

If your visitors are nationals of an EU country, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the USA, aged 12 and over and they have a biometric passport, they can use the eGates on their arrival in the UK and receive automatic entry as a visitor. If they are entering via the eGates, they will not need to speak to an Immigration Officer and receive a stamp in their passport.


If your visitors are EU, EEA or Swiss nationals and they wish to travel to the UK using their National Identity Card, then they will not be able to request to be stamped on entry in the UK. Instead, they will need to apply for entry clearance in their country before they arrive.

  • Last updated: 07/04/2021